Funeral Bonsai Wedding

by Funeral Bonsai Wedding



Steve Dawson: vocals, guitars, harmonium, Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone, Frank Rosaly: drums, bells, percussion, Jason Roebke: upright bass, Robbie Fulks: vocal on "The Night of the Liquor Store Fire," Diane Christiansen: vocal on "In The Glow," and "In The Valley Of The Whale."


released September 19, 2016

all songs written by Steve Dawson
recorded and mixed by John Abbey at Kingsize, Chicago, Feb - June, 2014. Mastered by Bob Weston, Chicago Mastering Service


all rights reserved



Steve Dawson Chicago, Illinois

"As part of Chicago's criminally under-known Dolly Varden he's churned out nothing but quality for 15 years, but his second solo outing carries the timeless inflection of vintage Roy Orbison and George of the great pop-rock voices of our time, a set of pipes both instantly appealing and flecked with warm, individual character." Jambase ... more


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Track Name: Ezra Pound And The Big Wood River
I sat in the front room for hours and hours
With Tiffany the one-handed cheerleader
Her long red hair tangled with mine
The moon shone through her living room blinds

She stood on her tip toes and kissed my cheek
I could not breath I could not speak
I sang that song at the top of my lungs
Ah, but sooner or later the ending comes

but it's too late, too late we're strangers now in time
It's goodbye goodbye, I loved you, I can not say why..

A 3 year old boy with pencil and paper
Up to his knees in the Big Wood River
A fascist a poet a critic a mentor
counting the clouds in that mountain water

Where Hemmingway blasted off his own head
Caddisflies creep through the riverbed
When we smashed the slime heads on the rocks
I felt a part of my soul got lost

Your father kicked you when he got drunk
You raged through the mountains alone in your truck
I didn't reach out and I'm sorry for that
Tonight I'm drunk and I'm looking back

we lay in the sun on wet grass
laughing like children while summer passed
sparrowhawks, grasshoppers, flickers, mayflies
your skin was warm, It was mid July

A sagebrush path to the giant rock
To watch the river push at the banks
Overhanging cottomwood trees
Shading the shallows, dropping their leaves


Ezra Pound was locked in a tower
Blood still flush with the Big Wood water
Tiny white beard, lead from the mines
Raving on behind enemy lines

High on skunkweed we skipped out of school
To watch Mariel swim in the Sun Valley pool
Her granpa's name a useful scar
At 17 years old she's a movie star

Your father kicked you when he got drunk
You raged through the mountains alone in your truck
I didn't reach out and I'm sorry for that
Tonight I'm drunk and I'm looking back


I drove in from out of state
I was tired it was getting late
You asked how long I planned to stay
I through down my bag and I kissed your face
Track Name: The Night Of The Liquor Store Fire
I didn't realize til I spoke the words that it would break her heart
But I'd made up my mind that it was time to leave
Where the little green trains filed with college girls Brake and stop and start
I held out my arm to catch her tears with my sleeve
And the sparks tripped the wire And we stood like strangers
The night of the liquor store fire

A line formed around the ice cream shop desperate to beat the heat
As sirens split wide the late august air
In a doorway on a dark side street
she pressed herself into me
And whispered things that I couldn't hear
And some freshmen formed a choir By the barricades
And sang to the liquor store fire

A polish girl with big green eyes And a distant sense of fear
We'd spent that whole summer in her room
Playing her husband's 45's And drinking dollar beer
A pause in a life ready to resume
And So I became the liar And I saw it all clearly
In the light of the liquor store fire

Crates of whiskey, rum and wine Exploding in the flames
The sky was sick with sweet ashen booze
And over in the haze of lights
The owner sobbed and prayed
Surrounded by mic's from the TV news
And as the flames were rising higher
That girl disappeared (hold chord)
The night of the liquor store fire
Track Name: In The Valley Of The Whale
Sweet mystery Back now from the dead
Unlock the dreams stuck inside my head

My back against the car
By the fence In the Trees With a grin I don't own
The crush of the leaves
The smell of the rain As it soaks our clothes

Sweet Bitterroot River underground
My soul has been moved By that whisper sound

Together again In the valley of the whale
In the long dry heat
I bury my head in your chest And I sing til I fall at your feet

Cruel chemistry Dust to dust
Hand to hand I still believe but I don't understand

Sweet mystery Back now from the dead
Mine could be the light In the lamp beside your bed
Track Name: Anywhere You Landed
You could have had anything you wanted
But you could not make up your mind
Now your neck stays permanently twisted
And your scars are memory refined

You could have lived anywhere you landed
But you were overwhelmed by the chance
And the home you one day intended
Is a victim of circumstance

You could have said the words you were thinking
But you chose to bite your tongue
Now the white noise whenever you're speaking
Marks your distance from everyone

And your best lines are filled with failure
And your comedy is a farce
And you wish you had someone to turn to
But that river is dry at the source

And when you look to your bitter companions
All the light is leaving the room
in their uniforms and medallions
they are staring straight back at you

if there was only some meaning in common
but it's too late now to protest
and the dream of one day breaking even
is another lost cause at best
Track Name: In The Glow
In the glow
Of the moon
In the path over the trees
I will hang
Like a vine
For you

On the weight Of your arm
On the guess I cannot name
I will skip
Like a stone
For you

At the top Of the hill
Where the skyline reaches north
I will shine All the light Toward you

From the stream By the house
Where the shadows calmed my eye
I would send All my dreams To you
Track Name: Confusion
It doesn't matter if I fell my head with whiskey
It doesn't matter if I stay in bed all day
In my heart there is a shadow that never goes away

Confusion don't break my heart

It is a secret
And even if I told you, you would not believe it
I sent out a flair to the crumbling Earth To a darkening mind,
to a hole in the sea To the trouble wrapping around me

Confusion don't break my heart

I've been hovering on the wayside
I've been cruel to the one who loves me
There are still more questions than answers
I'm calling out for mercy!

Confusion don't break my heart
Track Name: Harmonium Song
I woke up this morning with dying on my mind
I woke this morning with dying on my mind
I hear my heart beating and I know, I know
I'm running out of time

I don't know why I do the things I do
I don't know why I do the things I do
I only know that I will be forever in love
with you

My grandmother held the kindness of the world
my grandmother held the kindness of the world
sometimes I wake in the night
crying out for her

I try and try but I cannot forget
I try and try but I cannot forget
the cruelty in the truth
and how I am a part of it

but breath by breath I rise above, I do
breath by breath I rise above, I do
I pry apart my chest
I will show you all the love I have for you
Track Name: As Soon As I Walk In
I washed my hands for good luck
I brought my traveling souvenirs
I walked for hours around the block
and every hour on the hour
I ask myself what I'm doing here

she crowded me in her wagon
she drove downhill in a hurry
we were out of control and she was laughing
she stopped the car threw out her arms
and said, "honey, darling, what's got you so worried?"

as soon I walk in I'm already searching a way out

I can't remember my own name
but I'm not looking for sympathy
in the first cold hours of daylight
she wrapped her arms around me
it was only once, but ever since
I've been waiting for lightning to strike me

as soon as I walk in I'm already searching

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